WHAT'S YOUR WAR?

Thea Canlas & David Sloan

Ako ay hindi ikaw / Si nada soy / I am not you
Silver necklace, antique Spanish hand-cannon shot, Bilol, Photograph
2010

We chose to answer the question, “What is Your War?” by focusing on the way in which we are already involved in contemporary wars. As much as 10% of the population of the Philippines works overseas in order to send money home.  The “overseas contract worker” is a staple of post-colonial Filipino identity.

In order to cut costs, private military contractors have begun to recruit mercenaries from third world countries. Filipinos make up a large part of this demographic, providing a substantial source of income for Filipino families. The economic realities of neo-colonialism have turned the citizens of the Philippines into soldiers in contemporary, colonial conflict.

The stone in the center of the necklace is an antique piece of canon shot, purchased in the Philippines. The carved figure is a Bilol, a domestic god charged with protecting a village's crops. The photograph depicts the transformation of a "native" Filipino into a soldier.

As more and more Filipinos are recruited for mercenary armies and deployed around the world, it is difficult to deny that any war is not ‘our’ war.

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